Recent Reads Mini Round Up

I have been busy reading lots for university in the last two weeks, so rather than writing a review for each book, I am doing six mini reviews for the last six books I have been reading.

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Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare: Measure for Measure is about the Duke of Vienna, who pretends to leave so that he can go undercover and learn the true nature of his deputy, Angelo. I really enjoyed reading this play as there was lots going on and no lulls in action which can sometimes be found in Shakespeare’s plays. I did become slightly lost in the complex deception plot but once it was all revealed at the end it all slotted into place. Not one of my favourite plays but certainly one that I enjoyed discovering – 7/10

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells: While H. G. Wells’ ‘The Red Room’ is one of my favourite short stories, I have never read any of his novels. I think the film adaptations of this book had influenced my expectations but it was nothing like the films. I really liked the modern feel of the book, as though it could take place at any time. The alien invasion isn’t overdone and sounds believable, and the first person account really drew me in. I can’t believe I haven’t read this book sooner and I really want to read more Wells now! – 9/10

R.U.R. by Karel Capek: R.U.R is a short play set in a factory where robots are produced and sold to companies as workers and about what happens when the robots rebel. I didn’t know what to make of this one as sci-fi isn’t really my thing and it was pretty ‘out there’ in my mind but it was interesting and a very short read. I don’t think I’d see this one on the stage though, that might just be a little too odd for me! 6/10

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess: This has been on my to read list for a while so I was glad to have an excuse to read it. It is about Alex, a ruthless boy who society attempts to condition into peaceful behaviour. The most challenging part of this book is the language that Burgess invented in it. What I found most interesting about reading this book was not the plot but how you read it instead. After reading the first few pages, the brain begins to do fascinating things. After having read the words a few times, the brain began to substitute the nonsensical words for their logical meaning. What was even more amazing was the way that the brain began to do this for the made up words that I was encountering for the first time without me even thinking about it! It was a really strange but interesting experience and the book is certainly one that I would recommend but it definitely isn’t an easy read – 8/10

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre: I was absolutely dreading reading this one. I’m generally not a fan of anything relating to spies and I was put off by the blurb. The plot revolves around a ageing spy for British Intelligence who is sent out on his last and most dangerous mission yet. The minute I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down! As the plot grew more complex I did find moments that I began to get lost in the twists and turns but there was never a point that I wanted to put this book down. What was most striking about this book was that I was literally left with goosebumps – I have never read a book before that has had this effect on me. I can’t recommend this one enough – 10/10

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare: I really didn’t enjoy this play as there were so many characters and sub-plots that I completely lost track of what was happening. I stumbled my way through the play just about grasping the relationships between the characters and their backgrounds but I was happy to see the end of it. This would probably be one that I had to read again or see performed to fully understand the plot – 4/10

I am currently reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, which will be followed by John Fowles The Collector and Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time. I will do a summary for the next lot once I have finished them!

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13 thoughts on “Recent Reads Mini Round Up

  1. carolyndonaghey says:

    Hi Hannah, Fowles is my favourite author ever! The collector is rivetting stuff. I have also read a John Le Carre this year, Call for the Dead, which introduces the character George Smiley. A short book, but his writing is neat, expressive and no fuss. Really enjoyed it. I have Spy and Constant Gardener and the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to read.

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      Lots of people have praised The Collector so I am really looking forward to it! Ooh I will have to read more Le Carre, I had never even considered his work before but I really enjoyed it, I can’t wait to hear what you think of his other titles!

  2. nanacathy2 says:

    I agree about Clockwork Orange- it became quite easy to read didn’t it. The opening scene is quite horrific! I didn’t think the film version did the book credit tho’. Good luck with your studies. Shakespeare is hard going till you have studied it in depth and seen several versions of each play. It’s the non funny puns I always find hardest! Cathy

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      It did become surprisingly easy. Yeah the film was interesting but didn’t do it justice at all. There were several point in the book that made me cringe! I normally love Shakespeare but every so often I come across one that I just don’t click with, I just start getting confused which character is which!

  3. cross(stitch)yourheart says:

    Sounds like you’ve got quite a lot of good books to read next as well. And I’m glad you enjoyed Clockwork Orange! Seems like that’s a popular one for a lot of your blog readers as well.

  4. clumsykristel says:

    I really liked The Spy Who Came in from the Cold too, though it’s been so many years since I read it (for university as well) that I don’t remember too much about it. I should go find it and read it again. (So many boxes of books in my basement, it’s just sad!)

    I had really mixed feelings about The Collector (also read for university). I seem to recall liking the first half and despising the second, but it’s still really interesting.

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      Unfortunately I don’t have a basement otherwise it would be put to the same use! I’ve run out of shelf space! Yeah I agree with you, the first half was fantastic but Miranda was such an awful character!

      • clumsykristel says:

        Yeah, my books lived in my parents basement for a long time until I wound up in a place with a basement to store them myself. I’d like to get them onto shelves some day, but there are just so many and not enough walls to put the shelves against. When I was a kid I used to think I’d live in a house with a dedicated library… if only!

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